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How to Start an Online Fish Store

9 min read

There are a lot of ways to make money online. Opening an online store is one of the most popular routes for entrepreneurs to take. But what kind of store is best? One of the universal pieces of advice for anyone looking to start an online store is to find a niche. The best niches are ones that cater to specific communities, hobbies, or lifestyles. A good niche should have high market demand with dedicated customers, but relatively little competition.

Opening an online fish store is a great way to cater to a large and lucrative niche. People from all walks of life enjoy keeping fish as pets and displaying beautiful home aquariums. Finding unique items and fish for those aquariums is not always easy. Creating an online fish store is a great way to reach that audience and give them another venue to find what they’re looking for. If that sounds appealing to you, here is everything you should know about how to start an online fish store.

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Is It Legal To Sell Fish Online?

First and foremost, you may be wondering if it’s legal to sell fish online. And the answer is yes, it is perfectly legal to sell aquarium fish online. However, some local government agencies may require permits or certifications to sell live creatures. While there is no federal restriction against selling fish, it’s always a good idea to check with your local government. Be sure to comply with any local laws and acquire any necessary permits.

Factors to Consider When Starting an Online Fish Store

There is a lot of work that needs to go into starting an online fish store. In some ways, there is more investment and time required than for other types of online stores. Here are a few of the key factors to consider when planning your online fish business.

What to Sell

The question of what, specifically, to sell, is important for any business. An online fish store has a lot of options to choose from. You can sell live fish for aquariums, of course. But which species of fish will you carry? Selling some popular species that are in high demand may seem like an obvious plan. But it can also be a good idea to carry some more exotic or hard-to-find species as well, to give yourself a greater market share.

Also, you do not need to limit yourself to selling just fish. People who are shopping for fish online will likely also need fish tanks, fish food, aquarium decor, and aquarium cleaning supplies. Adding some of these items to your stock can be a good idea as well. Just be careful not to overextend yourself or be too general with your inventory. Your budget may be limited when you are just starting. Choosing items that can sell in high volume for good price points will help you grow and establish a brand.

Where to Find Inventory

Keeping your online fish store stocked can also be a challenge. Most online fish stores breed their own fish to make money. So this may require a small investment upfront. You will need an aquarium of your own, plus a few initial fish, and any other supplies needed to keep them healthy. It’s also important to figure out which are the best fish to breed for your business.

For other aquarium supplies, you can choose to partner with a wholesale distributor or a dropshipping provider. Another option, if you are selling aquarium decorations, is to sell handmade items. This option can keep material costs down. Selling handmade goods also allows you to set up an Etsy store to reach an even wider audience.


One last consideration that requires special care for an online fish store is shipping. It is legal to send fish in the mail, but, for obvious reasons, there are strict requirements for shipping processes. You can read the U.S. Postal Service’s complete guidelines on shipping fish (and other live animals) on the USPS website.

For legal, ethical, and practical reasons, it is very important to comply with all requirements when shipping live fish. For practical reasons, customers simply will not wish to do business with you if you do not sell them healthy fish.

Creating a Website For Your Online Fish Store


Standing out in your niche requires more than just good, reliable products and fish. You can also help your business by creating a crisp, eye-catching online storefront. Start with a memorable or recognizable name, as well as a slogan or logo. Also, keep your design simple, but attractive. The best websites should be easy to navigate and accommodating. If customers like the way your website looks and have an easy time using it, they’re more likely to return.

Product Listings

Product listings are very important for most online retailers, but especially so for an online fish store. Managing an inventory of live fish is much different from managing an inventory of office supplies or furniture. Your website should be flexible to update your product listings as needed. It’s also important to list crucial details, whether selling fish or aquarium equipment. Aquarium products are often a sizable investment, and customers want to know as much as they can before making purchases.

Ecommerce Platform

The simplest way to design your online fish store’s website is to choose a good ecommerce platform. Ecommerce platforms can provide all of the tools, resources, and guidance you need to set up your perfect website.

Additionally, ecommerce platforms can help with every step of the process. From getting your store up and running to managing your business, and even online marketing.

When building your website, the most important qualities to look for in an ecommerce platform are flexibility and accessibility. Your ecommerce platform should be easy to use so that you can set your website up exactly how you want. And it should be flexible so that you have access to all of the features you need, both now and in the future. As your business grows, your ecommerce platform should be able to keep up with your changing demands.

To learn about the advantages of a great ecommerce platform, read about getting started with Ecwid. Or read about how you can optimize your online store using Ecwid’s reports and analytics tools.


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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

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